Force India Race Report - Barcelona
Monday, 14 May 2018 | Ravenol Marketing
It was another two-sided weekend for our Technical Partners, Force India, with Checo adding another 2 points to his tally, whilst Esteban had to pull over after his VJM11 car developed an issue.
The Spanish Grand Prix started in particularly dramatic fashion, as Haas driver Romain Grosjean spun wildly across the race track, smashing into Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. The two Force India drivers were also in the vicinity, but thankfully managed to avoid being caught up in the melee. Unsurprisingly, a safety car period followed and it took the track marshals 6 laps to clear up the debris.
With the team's recent upgrades fitted, the VJM11 car was doing well on the straights, showing the fastest speed on the radar, but unfortunately they didn't seem to be as effective on the Circuit de Catalunya’s long corners. Both drivers were stuck in midfield, with the team playing the long game to be on fresher tyres at the end, allowing their rivals pitted before them. But the overcut did not appear to be working, and by the time the team brought the drivers in to go onto the Medium tyre, they had slipped back to 15th and 16th.
Then on Lap 40, disaster! Esteban’s car developed a problem and he was forced to pull over. Even though the car wasn’t in a precarious position, a Virtual Safety Car period ensued and Checo used the opportunity to get a quick pit stop in, going onto the faster Soft tyre.
Later there was almost a repeat of Baku, when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ran into the back of Williams driver Lance Stroll, but this time both cars survived, minus a piece of Verstappen’s wing which was flicked right onto the racing line. Checo was unable to avoid it and it ended up jammed underneath the car. Thankfully it didn’t seem to affect the VJM11’s performance and Checo managed to work his way up into 10th.
On the faster tyre, he then began to reel in young Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, who was on older Medium tyres. On Lap 59 of 63, he finally managed to catch right up to and overtake Leclerc to move into 9th, taking home an extra point as a boost for the team.
Now Force India are only one point behind rivals Haas in the Constructors’ Championships, with everything to play for at the next race in Monaco on the 27th of May (BST start time 14:10). Join us on Thursday the 24th for our Race Preview of Formula One’s most iconic and exclusive street circuit on the calendar.